As you may know, there’s more to becoming a successful musician than practising. You can learn all the scales in the book and perfect your technique, but if you don’t have certain psychological skills in place, all of that effort will have been wasted.
Often times, musicians completely negate the psychological aspects of their trade. It’s tough to measure them because they’re not physical. They cannot be seen like the notes on a piano or the waving of a conductor’s baton. Despite that, these skills exist and they should be considered. Without further adieu, here are five performance psychology skills that all musicians should practice.
Being a musician is a tiring career. Between the long hours on the road, longer nights on the stage, and the physical toll taken on the body, it’s common to feel exhausted at the end of every day. Usually, when it comes to thinking about why we’re tired, the physical reasons pop up first. They certainly play a large role, but it’s possible to wipe ourselves out through psychological effects, too.
According to a study from the Harvard Business Review, a common solution to exhaustion is time management. That’s the method society has chosen, but it’s failing us. It’s not that time management is causing us stress and fatigue, but, rather, a lack of energy management.
Physics defines energy as the capacity to work. In the human body, energy mostly comes from the mind, emotions, spirit, and the body itself. In each of these sections, energy can be renewed regularly with practice.
For example, when practicing music, make sure to take regular breaks. Divide up your day evenly so you’re not doing one activity for too long. Keeping organized can also help reduce stress and therefore save energy. There are various rituals like this you can take part in. Getting involved with mindfulness is a good place to start.